Local Sears stores saved in closure

Sears closing 72 more stores as sales plunge

The company said the nine additional stores that it initially planned to announce would close will be evaluated further.

Sears will close at least 63 more stores as sales plunge and losses mount. Sales have fallen for more than six straight years despite efforts to revamp stores, stock more mattresses and appliances, and partner with sites like Amazon.

A Sears logo is seen inside a department store in Garden City, New York, U.S., May 23, 2016.

The one-time powerhouse retailer that survived two world wars and the Great Depression has been calving off pieces of itself as it burns through money.

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"The demise of Sears has felt like a prolonged, drip, drip, drip as evidenced by the string of quarterly sales numbers", said Mark Hamrick, Bankrate.com senior economic analyst. "By diminishing the quality of the in-store experience, Sears has basically trained consumers to avoid going inside".

Lampert, who combined Sears and Kmart in 2005 after helping to bring the latter out of bankruptcy, has long pledged to save the famed retailer, which started in the 1880s as a mail-order catalog business. Its chief executive, billionaire Eddie Lampert, has said the company should sell its well-known appliance brand Kenmore, home improvement businesses and real estate, and that his hedge fund ESL Investments Inc would bid for them.

Sears also has made deals with Amazon. A Sears Auto Center in Strongsville is also scheduled to close in July. Last year, Sears sold its Craftsman brand to Stanley Black and Decker for $900 million.

Sears shares, which have lost nearly all of their value in the last five years, were down almost 10 percent at $2.90 in mid-day trading.

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